GRAFTON—According to a recent report, Grafton has been named one of the safest cities in West Virginia for 2017.
SafeWise, the authority on safety and home security news, has released their fourth annual Safest Cities in West Virginia report, and named Grafton as the second safest city in the state.
“I’m really pleased to hear we are ranked so high, but it sounds like we have some work to do, some improvements to make, so that we can claim the number one spot,” said City Manager Kevin Stead.
The SafeWise organization has been recognized by Homes.com and AngiesList, for their Home Security Brand Comparisons and Safest City Reports. SafeWise is a home security and safety brand, committed to increasing safety education, awareness and preparedness in American communities.
According to the report, Grafton has moved up one spot, from last year’s report. In order to determine the state’s safest cities, SafeWise reviewed crime report statistics for 2015, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as, population data.
Cities who failed to report crime data to the FBI, or those that have 2,000 citizens or less, were not considered for the list, according to Rebecca Edwards with SafeWise.
Analysts from SafeWise took into consideration the amount of violent crimes reported for a city, which included crimes such as, aggravated assaults, murder, rape and robbery. They also looked into the number of reported property crimes, such as burglary, arson, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
They then calculated the likelihood that those crimes would be committed out of 1,000 people for each city.
Grafton earned its number two ranking, coming in with 0.77 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, and 0.96 property crimes per 1,000 citizens, according to the report.
“It’s great that we’re ranked number two, but we have some work to do,” expressed Grafton Police Chief Robert Beltner. “We want to be ranked number one.”
Grafton was only beat out by one other city, Weston. According to the report, Weston boasted a violent crime ratio of 0.00 crimes for every 1,000 people. However, they had more property crimes reported per capita than Grafton, earning them a ratio of 0.98 property crimes per 1,000 residents.
“Weston’s crime record is impressive—with only four total crimes reported, according to the most current FBI crime report,” stated Edwards. “In addition, none of those crimes were violent.”
Fairmont moved up two spots on the report, but rounded out the list as the tenth safest city in West Virginia. They reported 1.65 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, and 12.70 property crimes per 1,000 residents.
According to Edwards, 80 percent of the cities on the list reported five or fewer violent crimes, and 90 percent ended the year with no reports of murder.
Other surrounding cities who didn’t make the top ten list included Philippi, who just missed the list as the eleventh safest city. Shinnston followed in the number 12 spot.
Morgantown came in as the eighteenth safest city in WV, Bridgeport was reported the twenty-second safest and Buckhannon was ranked the twenty-fourth safest city in the state.